Linda Greenhouse offers up an interesting theory on why the Supreme Court may be taking up the marriage case of Proposition 8 and Windsor case against the Defense of Marriage Act.
From the New York Times Opinion Pages:
Is it heretical of me, or merely quirky, to find myself nearly as fascinated by the procedural game the Supreme Court is playing in the same-sex marriage cases as I am by the underlying merits of the two appeals the court has agreed to decide?
After all, same-sex marriage is legal in nine states and the District of Columbia, and public opinion on the issue is evolving rapidly in other parts of the country, with or without the blessing of the United States Supreme Court. On the other hand, the procedural minefield the court has laid around these cases may hold implications reaching well beyond the domain of gay rights — for the relationship of states to their citizens and for the balance of power between the president and Congress.
I say “may”: the court, never exactly a model of transparency, was more than usually opaque in the orders it issued last Friday afternoon.
In accepting Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, prohibiting same-sex marriage, the justices instructed the parties to brief and argue the preliminary question “whether petitioners have standing under Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution in this case.”